You are your child’s first and most important teacher. What you say and do matters! Your baby was born, curious and ready to learn through all his senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. Right from the start, he begins to learn by watching and listening to you.
Everyday moments you share—mealtime, bathtime, getting dressed, picking up the living room, or putting away the laundry—are learning opportunities. They are familiar enough that children begin to learn what comes next, yet different enough that they are interesting and engage children.
You don’t need expensive toys. Cardboard boxes to climb in and out of and safe household objects like a set of plastic measuring cups, or plastic mixing bowls and wooden spoons are usually a child’s favorite things. It is more important that you be loving, present, encouraging, and supportive of your curious learner.
Throughout this Guide you will find easy ideas for encouraging your child’s learning and curiosity. Have fun, and enjoy this time of discovery as your child begins to make sense of the world.
Infants and toddlers who receive responsive care and encouragement early in life are more apt to develop self-confidence as early learners and a joy for learning. Eventually, preschool and kindergarten teachers have an easier time engaging them in learning activities than less-confident or less-interested children. (OUNCE OF PREVENTION, 2007)